The Development Of Robusta Coffee Trees In Vietnam – Helena Coffee Vietnam

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The Development Of Robusta Coffee Trees In Vietnam: Vietnam’s Robusta coffee farming model has been successful because of the industry’s size and its remarkable growth from a humble beginning. In a quarter of a century, from 1990 to 2015, Vietnam’s coffee production increased from 92 thousand tons to 1.6 million tons and reached 1.8 million tons in 2019. Vietnam is now a coffee-producing country. Second largest coffee. Ranks are second in the world and are the largest producer of Robusta coffee (40% of total Robusta production) and contribute about 10% of total global coffee production.

The development of the coffee tree in Vietnam | Vietnam has developed a very successful coffee monoculture model. High yields are crucial to profitability, as Robusta is a relatively simple and low-value crop (compared to Arabica).

This study focuses on  Voi coffee as it accounts for 95% of coffee production in Vietnam. In 2006, the government attempted to rebalance Arabica and Robusta production with programs to increase the area planted to Arabica. However, the Arabica production process has some more complex characteristics, and therefore, Arabica coffee will not be covered in detail in this article.

Vietnam’s coffee industry – more precisely, the Voi coffee tree has grown in a short time. This remarkable success requires a focus on specific goals. The four main factors that make up the strength of Vietnamese Robusta coffee are people, policies, resources, and farming methods. We will find out how each of these factors has contributed to Vietnam’s coffee industry development.

Migration to the “New Economy” area

The foundation of coffee development in Vietnam can be traced back to the post-unification migration programs of the late 1970s and early 1980s to address unemployment and instability. Society. The newly established economic zones have encouraged people to move from densely populated areas such as the Mekong Delta in the south, the Red River Delta in the north, and big cities to the eastern regions. Residential. as sparse as the Central Highlands provinces.

The Development Of Robusta Coffee Trees In Vietnam

The State encourages free and organized migration from other regions to the resource-rich regions of the Central Highlands. The population of the Central Highlands increased from 1.5 million in 1975 to 4.2 million in 2000.

Initially, coffee was not the main focus for resettlement programs in the 1970s and 1980s. However, by the late 1980s, the government had a better understanding of the possibility of coffee production. In 1975, indigenous minorities such as the Ede and H’Mong accounted for 48% of Dak Lak’s population, with about 350,000 people. By 1997, indigenous ethnic groups accounted for only 20% of the province’s 1.5 million population, with new migrants (the Kinh) accounting for about 70%.

State policies and institutions

Subsidies and subsidies initiated the coffee industry through collective farming systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the late 1980s and 1990s, market liberalization and agricultural reform Land was adopted, allowing farmers to expand their industries and reap more benefits.

After reunification, the Vietnamese coffee industry was re-established, and state institutions filled every nook and cranny of the production chain from farm to market. While production from state-owned coffee cooperatives was mainly used for exchange with communist countries, it also provided an excellent empirical basis for shaping the industry. To develop a knowledge base and knowledge about Robusta coffee production. By the mid-1980s, coffee production had reached 30,000 tons and covered about 40,000 hectares. However, average productivity is still low.

The role of state policy

The key to policy success is the state’s response to change and adaptation to market forces. In the process of developing the coffee industry, our firm has provided the primary raw materials for the development of the coffee industry, which are:

  • Incentives for agriculture:  Shifting from a collective livestock model to a market economy, creating profits for farmers.
  • Access to capital:  Land reform has created an asset base for farmers to access finance to invest in expanding coffee farming. During the coffee devaluation, the agricultural banking system helped make this possible with long-term loans.
  • Production Base: Secured agricultural production bases, initially from domestically produced fertilizers, but increased to large-scale imports at crucial times to support industry growth.
  • Farming techniques: Improved, incremental production models have been developed on state-owned farms, and these have gradually improved over time. Farmers have grasped and successfully applied it to production.
  • Market access: Marketing channels were developed by state-owned farms and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) involved in coffee exports (gradually taken over by the private sector).

The Development Of Robusta Coffee Trees In Vietnam

Given the government’s decisive role in coffee development through policy and planning, public institutions are essential for developing the coffee industry. Initially, the government established SOEs to take on all roles in the industry, such as coffee production, raw material supply, rural credit, production-processing, marketing, and export. This process has allowed the coffee industry to develop and stabilize under the guidance of the state. Over time, these organizations were gradually liberalized, and many companies were transferred to the private sector.

Transition to a market economy

The shift from public to private production coincided with significant changes in other policy areas, such as land reform. These reforms were adopted in a major party conference in 1986 and were called “Doi Moi.” It has gradually transitioned from a cooperative, low-yielding state quota system to one that empowers farmers. It also allows the private sector to participate in the coffee industry. At this point, farmers are no longer constrained by production quotas and can benefit from a more open and unrestricted market.

  • The deregulation of imports in 1991 allowed chemical fertilizer prices to drop by 50% over the next few years. As a result, farmers switched from traditional organic fertilizers to imported chemical fertilizers, which increased production in the 1990s.
  • The state has created incentives for farmers to switch to export crops such as coffee by maintaining measures to control food prices. Rice is heavily influenced by price, so farmers switch to uncontrollable crops like coffee.
  • The 1993 revised land law allows farmers to buy, sell, inherit, and use it as collateral (although actual ownership remains with the state). This simple change motivated farmers to produce because farmers already had ownership of the land and had control over the output of their produce.
  • Financing the coffee industry plays an essential role in the sector’s growth. The state provided many loans during the primary growth years and even frozen loans for up to 3 years during low coffee prices from 2000 to 2004 through the leading organization VBARD. *.

Natural conditions are suitable for Vai coffee trees

The growth of the coffee tree in Vietnam is supported by the excellent quality of the soil available for planting. The Central Highlands provides a large area of ​​fertile highland land, almost like a “clean stone” for the development of the coffee industry.

The soil in the Central Highlands is fertile very suitable for Robusta coffee. The Central Highlands region has two main soil types; this is a profoundly weathered soil of basalt origin described as Rhodic-Humic gray soil and Acric gray soil. In particular, Rhodic-Humic has a very low bulk density, allowing for good water infiltration and ventilation, making it ideal for perennials with relatively shallow roots such as coffee.

The Development Of Robusta Coffee Trees In Vietnam

Water is a decisive factor in the high productivity of coffee farmers in Vietnam. Basalt soil in the Central Highlands provides the region with a large amount of groundwater replenished every year through monsoon rains. Rainfall is generally sufficient for Robusta coffee, but it is not evenly distributed throughout the year (i.e., Robusta coffee needs to be watered a lot to achieve high yields).

“Studies in Dak Lak province, which has the largest coffee-growing area in the country and produces up to 60 percent of Vietnam’s coffee production, have estimated that for every one hectare of coffee planted, there is a need for demand. Annual water from 500m. 3  to 3000m  3. However, studies** – have proven that using only 320 liters per plant per watering, instead of 600 liters to 900 liters, is enough to promote flowering, and farmers have over-irrigated. Average 230% – D’Haeze, et al.”

The climate in the Central Highlands is ideal for the production of Robusta coffee. The region has a warm, monsoon-influenced tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season usually lasts four months and lasts from mid-December to mid-April. During the eight months of the rainy season, from May to November, the average monthly rainfall is 200mm, the average annual rainfall. From 1600 to 1800mm. The average daily air temperature in Robusta growing regions ranges between 18°C ​​– 25°C.

Robusta coffee ‘friendly’ to Vietnamese farmers

Robusta is a versatile plant that is easy to cultivate. Yields can be controlled by varying water availability, fertilizers, and farming practices such as pruning. Vietnamese farmers have adopted many successful strategies to maximize profits from Robusta.

Vietnamese Robusta flowers in the dry season, so it is necessary to water a lot of water to break the sleeping stage of flower buds and stimulate flowering and fruiting. The degree of flowering depends mainly on the volume of water and the number of watering times applied during the dry season from January to April. After harvesting in December and January, the Robusta plant is pruned to absorb sunlight. Brightens and helps develop new sprouting sites. Farmers use input management practices (fertilizer & irrigation water) to maximize yields when reasonable Robusta prices. They reduced inputs less damaging Robusta coffee (Arabica plants will have significant problems if the farming system changes).

To rejuvenate Robusta, the plant removes the canopy, allowing it to thrive again with proper watering and fertilization. Robusta coffee has a few pest problems – like its “Robusta” name. Moreover, the processing of Robusta coffee is straightforward; It can store transport for a long time which ensures no damage.

Intensive farming techniques

The Robusta Vietnam coffee industry has adopted a very specialized production system. At the heart of this problem is Robusta’s understanding of physiology. It may seem insignificant, but Vietnam is one of the few countries to irrigate Robusta coffee systematically. This stems from the fact that Robusta is grown in most Southeast Asian countries, but the profits from Robusta are not considered high enough to ensure intensive production and irrigation. Meanwhile, our country’s industry believes that even a low-value commodity can be profitable if developed intensively.

Balanced irrigation practices & heavy use of chemical fertilizers have resulted in world-class coffee yields. Many Vietnamese farmers actually reach over 3.5 tons / ha. Neighboring Asian countries have much lower average Robusta yields such as Indonesia 0.5 ton / ha, Laos 0.4 ton / ha and Thailand 0.8 ton / ha.

Balanced rainfall distribution in the Central Highlands can ensure proper fruiting. Still, since the dry season coincides with the time of flowering and the availability of irrigation water, farmers can exploit this to increase fruiting. Several watering/drying cycles to increase fruiting rate). Combined with ingenious pruning to create a tree structure that maximizes fruit count, leaf area, and the use of many fertilizers has resulted in world-class Robusta yields.

Robusta is irrigated with a micro-basin system. That means each tree is built to dig an irrigation tank with the dimensions of 2.6m x 2.6m x depth of 0.2m (planting density of 100 trees/ha with a distance of 3mx3m)—Farmers uApril’sthe pump system. to pro 900 liters per tree. Irrigation begins in the Central Highlands around the second half of January and continues for 20-25 days until April’s end of the dry season.

Conclusion and vision

Vietnam has developed a very successful Robusta monoculture model. High productivity is the key to profitability. The success associated with the Robusta coffee tree focuses on some of the main points mentioned above. However, many other important factors such as harvest-processing system, marketing – trade, and the role of Government organizations.. have not been expressly described. Therefore, readers can refer to the original to get a more making view of the development of Vietnamese Robusta coffee.

The Development Of Robusta Coffee Trees In Vietnam

 

The growth of Robusta coffee in Vietnam is not “free,” both human and environmental. Many questions are raised about the sustainable development of the industry; Do ethnic groups in the Central Highlands receive a fair share of the economic benefits of the coffee boom? In addition, deforestation, land degradation, and water depletion due to coffee intensification are also issues of concern. On a global scale, Vietnam’s spectacular growth is achieved by capturing market share from other manufacturers, mainly African countries, rather than growth in the market.

Some lessons seem to have been learned about the dangers of monoculture. Many farmers are trying to diversify crops to reduce the risk of coffee price shocks due to market volatility. It is necessary to have long-term strategies to protect farmers against inevitable fluctuations in world coffee prices in the future.


Captions & Quotations

Note:

  • (**) Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (VBARD) means Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam
  • (**) D’Haeze, & associates | Risk assessment of groundwater extraction for irrigation of Coffea Canephora in the Ea Tul watershed, Vietnam.

Reference source:

The content of the article is excerpted from  Diversification by Smallholder Farmers: Vietnamese Robusta Coffee  by  Anthony Marsh

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